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LMIRT raises Q2 DPU by 1.7% to 0.6 S cent after debt rejig

LIPPO Malls Indonesia Retail Trust (LMIRT), which recently refinanced maturing debts with a five-year bond issuance, has now sweetened the pot with a bumped-up second-quarter distribution per unit (DPU) of 0.6 Singapore cent for the three months to June 30.

The latest DPU came in higher by 1.7 per cent on the 0.59 Singapore cent payout in the year-ago period, while distributable income was up year-on-year by 4 per cent to S$17.5 million, the manager said in results released on Thursday.

Net property income rose by 1.9 per cent to S$44 million on positive rental reversions and better cost management. Gross revenue was up by 29.7 per cent to S$68.3 million on the direct collection of service and utilities recovery charges from tenants, although the trust's gross rental income slipped by 5.8 per cent on master lease expiries in July 2018.

The trust's all-Indonesia portfolio comprises 23 shopping centres and seven retail spaces in other malls. Occupancy was 92.2 per cent, with a weighted average lease expiry by net lettable area of 4.31 years as at June 30, against an occupancy rate of 92.9 per cent as at end-2018.

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The average debt term to maturity stretched to 4.3 years from two years before on refinancing. But gearing was 35.2 per cent as at June 30 against 34.6 per cent as at Dec 31, 2018.

James Liew, chief executive of the manager, said in a statement that renovations at Sun Plaza in Medan are on track to finish by 2021, while the manager also plans to upgrade Gajah Mada Plaza in Jakarta to capitalise on its proximity to an MRT station expected to open in 2024.

The enhancement of Gajah Mada Plaza, which is now 73.8 per cent occupied, will involve a new layout as a single-corridor mall. There will be more floor area allocated to the main atrium for product launches, car shows and other events, while anchor tenant areas will be converted into higher-paying specialty units.

The counter shed half a Singapore cent or 2.08 per cent to S$0.235 on Thursday before the results were released.